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Waste Watch: Supermarkets should reduce bags, not government

09 May 2008

Waste Watch: Supermarkets should reduce bags, not government Supermarkets should be thinking of ways to reduce the number of plastic bags used and not wait for government legislation, an environmental organisation has said.

Students with a green conscience and work part-time in a supermarket could be interested to hear that Waste Watch has called for stores to do more to persuade customers not to use so many plastic carrier bags.

Marks & Spencer has recently started charging five pence for each carrier bag, with the profits going to an environmental charity.

Mike Webster, spokesman for Waste Watch, said: "Some of [the supermarkets] are indicating that they are looking at similar projects. In the last Budget, the government stated that unless supermarkets get their house into order by the end of next year then legislation will follow.

"Obviously we would prefer a voluntary route to be taken because that shows a buy-in from the supermarkets."

According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, more than 13 billion plastic carrier bags are distributed in the UK every year.

While 45 per cent of shoppers claim to have purchased a Bag for Life, only 12 per cent of them actually use it.

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